Realm of the Spirit

The spirit is not simply consciousness.  Animals have consciousness but no spirit.  Spirit is imbued only in higher beings such as Man, Angels, Demons, Satan, God.  These higher beings have consciousness to be sure, but that consciousness goes beyond the mere quest for survival that even the most intelligent of non-human animals know. I’ve always felt that the most pertainent evidence of spirit is the ability to appreciate art; any kind of art, be it painting, music, cinema, novels, anything that is driven by human creativity.  To date I know of no known instance where lower beings appreciation of art has been substantiated.  I do beleive that lower beings according to their intelligence have an ability to experience emotion in much the same way Human Beings experience emotion.  But there is no reason to believe their emotion ever informs art or is ever informed by art. I believe that man’s ability to love and create art is central to what is meant in the book of Genesis whan man is said to be made in the image of God.  As God is a creator and a lover of his creation, so man is a creator and lover of his creation.  This confirms that man is more than mere materiality, but a spiritual substance as well who takes after his creator.  Within man’s status as a creator there is no sin!  The subject of Sin will be dealt with later and in much detail. While the ability to enjoy and create art is a common evidence of spirit, it is not the only evidence.  Pretty much all religions that is not based in either atheism or agnosticism, deals with the concepts of spirit & spirituality as natural and central components of their teaching.  Religions such as Christianity and Wicca may be far apart as to how they look on spirituality and attempt to take comfort from spirituality but their basic concepts of spirituality are remarkably similar and their dealing with spirituality provides a power that is immeasurable to the thrusts of their teachings. For Christians the truest spiritual life occurs by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit communicating and communing with one’s human spirit to change one’s life and do the right thing and to enable one to love one’s neighbor as oneself.  A spiritual awakening allows drunks to give up drinking, allows the purposeless a purpose, gives one a connection to one’s own existence not known or comprehended before.  There is a genuine spiritual realization that overtakes one that overrides selfish apathy. For followers of Wicca (Witches) spirituality is a resource.  The spirits of the gods communes with their spirit to grant them knowledge and direction that they find usefull toward achieving their goal and ideals.  Wiccan spirituality is essentially the obverse of the Christian understanding.  To Wiccans, spirituality exists as a resource to be exploited and used; whereas, to Christians a correct understanding of spirituality places their lives in the service of the source of all spirituality and the ultimate creative and material good that extends from that spirituality.  To Christians, Wiccan revel in the nostrums of the lower and fallen spirits.  While Wiccans may temporarily believe that they benefit from their spirituality, in fact they are being used and enslaved by the very spirits that they purport to use.  Wiccan spirituality is ultimately incomplete in that there is no overarching explanation or understanding of spirituality to draw from; just a mere recognition of the existence of spirituality as a real thing apart from the material world. Spirituality in its proper form is like a guiding essence.  It is the nub of who we are constantly seeking form and fruition.  It is a guiding light to our highest destiny if we recognize it, and listen to it, and know what it means.  We run into trouble when we intellectualize a goal that is apart from out true spiritual nature.  We listen to popular culture that offers up that we can be anything we want to be, and that is formally true within a limited context of knowledge.  As a spiritual matter though it is false in that a burden may be pre-supposed on a spirit that cannot sustain that burden. Let me give you an example.  Say that one is attracted to Hollywood by the chance for riches and recognition and popularity.  One may intellectualize these things as a goal just to have a goal, and seek out these things by moving to L.A.  One gets a job waiting tables like any budding starlet.  One may even take acting classes to fill one’s time between work and auditions.  But there are so many seeking the same roles and they all seem to be more chiseled and have better awareness of their situation and more talent.  One gets turned down again, and again, and again; and not even qualifying to get a call back as the field of possible cast members is narrowed.  One continues to hope and rationalize that one is a Sally Fields in waiting to be eventual be discovered. But all this time one never consults ones own spirit.  Instead one holds up ones dreams like an idol.  As the disappointment mounts and one’s desperation increases, one turns to shortcuts like taking on the humiliation of a porn film; maybe working the streets as a prostitute.  Through all of this one numbs one’s spirit that yearns to be free and happy, and not tied to artificial and unworkable goals.  One does this through drink or drugs or vices.  Ones coping mechanisms start a seemingly unbreakable cycle.  One turns to ones favorite crutch, whatever that be, to quite one’s soul and is enslaved by that crutch as the pressure mounts on one to make an unworkable goal work. The truest sense that evil has worked its way into ones life is the realization that one is in some manner a slave.  Like the myth of the Vampire all evil seeks to suck that last bit of freedom and life from one’s life.  I believe that the overarching mission of all evil is to enslave.  The spirit is first to be enslaved because that is the least obvious aspect of slavery.  Then one’s whole physical manafestation follows into enslavement.  This matter of enslavement can take many forms depending on one’s socio-economic situation, the political realities one faces, and one’s own temperment and personal disposition. Obviously poverty is a form of enslavement that can be very beneficial to those who know how to take advantage of the poor.  It is no surprise that a formerly poor black political commentator who is now a conservative, decries the slavery of welfare as a new plantation to hold back the aspirations of African Americans, when one learns of her business.  She apparently escaped poverty herself opening a temp agency to employ the ghetto rats who were her former friends and aquaintences.  For her welfare is an obstacle to maximizing her own profits.  Welfare gives her potential hires the legitimate choice to pass up on substandard wages and working conditions that would increase her profit.  Though welfare isn’t ideal, it is nonetheless an aspect of freedom in an otherewise unfree existence.  The possibility to say “NO” without starving gives one the possibility to stick up for one’s own existence and dignity. Of course, the conservative loves to throw around terms like “Welfare Slavery” and “New Plantation” with only the slightest examination of the meaning of these terms in the way they are used.  As an incentive for seeing things the conservatives way the idol is propped-up that summarily states one can be whatever one wants to be so long as one is willing to submit oneself to the most vicious wage slavery.  This is a propositional Idol.  The proposition being “one can be whatever one wants to be.”  The proposition can seem apparently true due to the shortcomings of epistemology, which is the impossibility of knowing the other.  Since we are separate from and by virtue of separation cannot know the other in terms of the others material condition like genetics or chemistry or the conditions of the others soul, like what drives the others passions or fears it is easy to establish a blank slate for the other on which anything may be built.  It is a default position and a default thesis that the other has unlimited potential, but it is not necessarily materially and spiritually correct to think in this way.  That is not necessarily to say that one ought to judge the other, which is to make an affirmative statement as to what the other can or cannot do.  The same epistemological limitation that renders our propositional idol invalid, also limits our ability to judge in this sense just as invalid. This epistemological limitation could therefore be said to be the cornerstone of individuality.  In the same way it protects us from knowing the other it also protects us from the concerns of the other and foists on us our own concerns in a direct and meaningful way so long as we care to know who we are and develop our potential.  What we can know is internal and spiritual in the sense that to know ourselves doesn’t depend on material referentials.  We cannot describe what we know about ourselves in terms of the material world.  Even though what we are affects the material world and shapes it, that thing which we are is not material and cannot be described.  The best that can be said is that we are a series of impulses, observations, feelings and intensions responding to surrounding stimuli in a somewhat calculated and wholistic manner.  Why the series of impulses, observations, feelings and intensions are what they are is not open to observation or calculation.  When a woman who is pressured for sex by a man states to the man that she does not want to go to bed with him just because she doesn’t, this is no nonsense assertion.  She literally cannot make a material reference for her reason because her reason is the only thing knowable to her, which is herself, and she has no material substance.  She is literally a nonmaterial spirit inhabiting a material body and she has no way to reference herself as she truly Is; that would answer the question in a material way, “why won’t you sleep with me?”. This can be infuriating to the man, when he chooses not to looks at the larger picture and deconstruct the reality before him.  If he were to do that, he would in fact realize that her answer is indeed comforting, even if it is off-putting.  It is comforting in respect to the fact that her answer is a glimpse into the deep recesses of her soul.  This glimpse ought to order the world in a proper perspective.  It should create boundaries where one dare not go, resolve a source of potential kaos and give clear thinking and direction to those who aspire to such. The problem is that sometimes the ego seeks to dominate all.  There is a mythos created in the mind of one that suggests all one needs to do is earn the love of the other.  Mere belief seeks to transcend the barriers of the soul.  Belief can be like a battering ram that would dominate and break apart the individuality of others.  Obstinant belief can prevent one from learning and growing with respect to the spiritual world that surrounds one.  It does not matter whether the belief is one that seeks to transcend thru domination or whether it is submissive to the blind dictates of pleasure or pain, the belief will ignore the spiritual architecture of the world in some way.  Submissive belief will ignore one’s duty to others and simply take advantage of others when it becomes feasible to do so.  This can be the basis for a Libertarian Mindset that can be just as evil and damaging as the mindset of a control freak. Submissive belief is of the sort that suggests incentives may bend one’s spirit to the will of the believer.  The most crude expression of this belief is to be found in prostitution.  With the quick application of cash one may expect a prostitute to do whatever one wills and maybe even like it.  One may certainly try to convince oneself that the Prostitute liked it or shared in some true affection.  The less crude and more sophisticated form of Submissive belief is illustrated in the movie “Casino.”  The Jewish boss who runs the mobbed up Casino in the movie named, Rothstein, falls for a high class hooker named, Ginger.  Rothstein wants Ginger to marry him even though she doesn’t love him.  To convince Ginger to marry him, Rothstein appeals to her greed and sense of entitlement.  Rothstein is clearly wealthy and well connected and has the power, she thinks, to give her everything she wants.  For this reason she agrees to marry Rothstein.  However, something goes wrong because she finds herself attracted to a low class two-bit loser conman who was her original romantic interest.  She ends up using her husbands resources to support this individual and it is strongly implied that she is sleeping with him as well.  Rothstein discovers this ongoing relationship and is determined to end it.  He has his goons beat up this individual in front of his wife to let her know that she knows what is going on and will not tolerate it.  This leads to a breakdown in Ginger’s Psyche.  Attempting to numb her pain with Alcohol, she becomes an Alcoholic.  Ginger’s relationship with Rothstein takes a disastrous turn by the end of the movie because her soul cannot abide the imposition of Rothstein’s spirit compared to the two-bit loser that she has always truly longed for.  Rothstein realizes that the attempt to earn Ginger’s love with material goods was a disastrous idea.  Submissive belief is sure to be a disaster for any libertarian minded incentive based individual who tries it to break thru the souls architecture. The alternative mode of Domination belief hardly needs any commentary to point out its evil.  Women’s shelters are overflowing with the victims of this evil.  Domination belief springs from a well of self-hatred.  This is so mostly on the part of the abuser, but self hatred may infect the recipient of the abuse as well, and the situation between the abuser and abused becomes Sadomasochistic.  The abuser sees himself and sometimes herself as gravely wanting in characteristics that are worthy of being loved, and compensates for this lacking by attacking his or her partner verbally and physically.  By debasing the partner he or she feels relief from this knowing inadequacy, at least, temporarily.  Since fear of the abuser is evoked in the partner, this fear is meant to squash any attempt by the partner to leave upon discovery of the abuser’s inadequacies.  To the extent that the abused partner allows herself/himself to play into this twisted logic, she/he becomes a masochist,  letting the pain become her or his whole world.  This logic is illustrated in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer called “Beauty and the Beasts.  In this episode Pete is the boyfriend/abuser and Debbie is the abused,  Pete’s own words lets us know that he began a formula to make himself more masculine so that Debbie would not leave him.  This points to a deep seated inadequacy in Pete’s soul.  He covers up this inadequacy by abusing Debbie and by murdering under the influence of the formula anyone who he perceives as a threat to his and Debbie’s relationship.  For her part Debbie tries to cover up for Pete and make excuses for him.  She makes the absurd statement that he only does what he does “because he loves me too much.”  She is confusing “love” with “infatuation” and “obsession.”  She has bought into the idea that she makes Pete crazy, circumscribing her soul to her boyfriend’s delusions.  This is a classic trait of a masochist.  She eventually ends up dead, killed by Pete and then Pete is killed by Angel, cementing Angel’s pure love for Buffy.  Domination belief is clearly a failed belief in that it will either break the spirit of the abused and lead to death, or force the abused to leave if she/he has an ounce of dignity left.  The black hole of the abuser’s self hatred can never be fully satiated. Belief, to be of any value, must acknowledge the contours of the soul.  There must be no self-delusion for ones own sake and feelings.  Sometimes it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to objectively take the measure of someone else.  I feel that this is largely why alcohol is often introduced into social settings.  Alcohol can give one the idea that one is accurately measuring the character and attitudes in someone’s soul.  But this is a totally false idea based on the ability of alcohol to artificially provoke the chemicals in one’s brain, giving one an altered sense of reasoning and thinking that does not comport with the real world.

It is not surprising then that alcohol fueled binges have provoked any number of one-night stands and other short term relationships that have no actual chance in the real world once the alcohol wears off.  It is also not surprising that one of the easiest ways to invite rape is for an enthusiastic college girl to go to a keg party with plenty of leering male students who are simultaneously out of their minds because of the alcohol and imagining themselves in love for no particular reason.  Such a girl may soon find herself face down in a room with one or more of these individuals, with her skirt up or pants down involuntarily pleasing such hulking and leering males that have the capacity to hold her down as she helplessly cries from the pain of being raped.

This is all in essense a concerted failure by the males to identify with her soul and her own failure to know who she truly is; otherwise, the alcohol should be considered a totally unnecessary copout for knowing the man of her dreams. I am not saying that the rape victim is to blame for her rape, but rape victims often create the conditions for their own defilement.  That is why courts are charged with assessing such things in order to determine a fair penalty for the assaillent.  Obviously the assaillent deserves a greater and greater penalty as the victim becomes less and less culpable.  Rape becomes one of those crimes that encourages belief in the spirit or soul like no other.

This is because rape is much more than a physical act.  It is true that rape has a physicality rooted in sexuality, but it is much more than that.  The essence of rape goes beyond the non-consent of the victim and her cries that the victimizer stop what he is doing.  The essential evil of rape is not that it consists of the defilement of the body, but of the soul.  The soul is the center of one’s self respect and longings and hopes.  It is by virtue of the existence of the soul that we seek to live and seek freedom and seek sustenance of every kind.  The compromise of the soul is a compromise of everything that makes life worth living.  That is why suicide is often a consequence  of rape, and it is why rape is such a serious matter.

Rape is a basic perversion of what sex is for and the good sex can do.  A punch to the jaw by contrast is a violation of sorts but not a perversion in the sense that such a punch is almost universally taken to be an act of violent communication.  The straightforwardness of a bunch to the jaw renders this action more like an act of communication that has no lasting consequence to the integrity of one’s soul.  Rape, on the other hand, is so much more evil because it directly violates the soul with the very thing intended to give the soul sustenance, and that is sex.  Therefore never let anyone fool you, that there can ever be rape without sex.  That physical rootedness is as necessary for rape as are grapes necessary for wine.